Hundreds, sometimes thousands, of ladybeetles are gathering around homes and other structures as autumn gets under way in Michigan. This ladybeetle, or ladybug, is the Multicolored Asian Ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis, and it is driving people buggy throughout the state. During the fall, the beetle congregates on the sides of buildings, enters homes and lands on folks as they walk through their yards, and it sometimes bites. The multicolored Asian lady beetle can be easily distinguished from other species of lady beetles by the presence of a black M-shaped pattern directly behind the head. Coloration varies from bright orange with up to 19 black spots in some individuals to dull yellow with pale or no visible spots on others hence their common name.
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